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Pembroke Main Street seen from the castle
Pembroke shown within Pembrokeshire
|Population||7,552 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Mid and West Wales|
|UK Parliament||Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire|
|Welsh Assembly||Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire|
Pembroke (//; Welsh: Penfro pronounced [pɛnˈvroː]) is an historic settlement and former county town of Pembrokeshire in west Wales. The town and county derive their names from the cantref of Penfro: Pen = "head" or "end", and bro = "region", "country", "land", which means, "Land's End".
Pembroke Castle, the remains of a stone mediæval castle was the birthplace of King Henry VII of England. Gerald de Windsor was Constable of Pembroke Pembroke town and castle and its surroundings are linked with the early Christian church. Later this was the site of the Knights of St John in the UK.
Monkton Priory has very early foundations and was renovated by the Knights in the last century. The first stone building was a defensive tower, now known as the Medieval Chapel, 69a Main Street, built on a cliff edge between 950 AD and 1000 AD. There are the remains of a great hall to the north and recently filled-in arched cellars. The building was used as an early church. The layout is the same as St. Govan's Chapel and it was used by John Wesley from 1764 to preach Methodism. After Westgate Chapel was built we do not know what it was used for after 1810. In 1866 it became the Brewery for the York Tavern which was Oliver Cromwell's headquarters at the siege of Pembroke during the English Civil War.
On both banks of Pembroke River to the west of the castle are many remains of early activities. The buildings of Catshole Quarry and the rare vegetation with the irreplaceable foreshore have recently been buried by dumped materials. The North Shore Quarries are relatively complete as are the remains of medieval and Elizabethan slipways where wooden vessels were built before the industrial Dockyard and Admiralty town was built on the grid pattern of Pembroke Dock.
There is a very early graving dock complete in what was Hancocks Yard, about to be buried by a massive infill of the mud flats to the North. The reclaimed land will be used to build high rise flats! The bridge which crosses and constrains the millpond was constructed to house a tide mill, originally granted to the Knight's Templars in 1199 which survived until it was burnt down in 1956.
At Pennar flats the early submarine base used for experiments in submarine warfare has been recently bulldozed to allow speculative development by executive housing. Three of the houses on the then foreshore, part of the shipyard before the Admiralty Dock Yard was built, are still standing but are heavily altered.
Pembroke is located on the south Pembrokeshire peninsula, by the estuary of the river Cleddau. Pembroke town is located at the bottom of a small valley, flanked on all sides by woodland and arable farmland.
At the 2001 census, the Community of Pembroke had a population of 7,214. The town has expanded over the last 50 years with a number of new housing developments to the east and south of the town centre.
The conurbation of Pembroke Dock and Pembroke has a combined population of 15,890 and as such is one of the major population centres of West Wales.
Pembroke School (in Welsh: Ysgol Benfro) is a mixed 11–18 comprehensive school of 1,600 pupils with a sixth form of about 200. The school was formed in 1972 as a result of the amalgamation of the former grammar school and secondary modern school.
In February 2012[update], it was revealed that Pembroke is the UK's second-slowest broadband town. The average internet download speed in Pembroke is just over 1.6 Mbit/s (1600 kbit/s) compared to the UK average of 12.0 Mbit/s (12000 kbit/s). BT's telephone exchange which serves Pembroke and Pembroke Dock is yet to be upgraded to offer either 21CN, FTTC or LLU.
Pembroke, and Pembrokeshire as a whole, has no access cable internet or television services such as those provided by Virgin Media. Mobile 3G coverage in Pembrokeshire is also very limited. Some areas on the outskirts of the town struggle to receive more than 0.5 Mbit/s (512 kbit/s). There are still some areas in and around Pembroke which still have no access to broadband at all. The nearby villages of Lamphey, Castlemartin and Angle have their own telephone exchanges. These provide customers with download speeds of between 6.0 and 8.0 Mbit/s depending on their proximity to the exchange.
Pembroke's main sporting asset is Pembroke Rugby Club located on upper Lamphey road. The ground is called Crickmarren. The club is currently situated in Division 4 west. Pembroke's main game of the season is often the local derby between rivals the Pembroke Dock Quins. Pembroke has produced famous players such as Ospreys and Welsh international Jonathan Thomas.
Other sporting clubs in the area consist of the football team Monkton Swifts. Monkton swifts are the leading team in the region having won the league title for the past four seasons. Managed by Richard 'Benno' Jones they pride themselves on playing attractive, free flowing football and with an average age in the early 20's. Skippered by Weaver Callan, (who cites Frankie Donavan as his mentor) most of the team such as Ben Nicholas, Daniel Scourfield, Ben Jones, Shaun Jones, Lee Jones, Ben Goldsmith have grown up playing in the same youth team.
The town is also home to Pembroke Cricket Club. The cricket club plays its home games at its Treleet ground on the Upper Lamphey Road, opposite the Rugby Club. The club currently has a 1st and a 2nd team playing in divisions 2 and 4 of the Pembrokeshire league. The club colours are green and gold.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis (counterparts of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi) originated in Pembroke. Bred with short legs and long body, these dogs were put to use as animal herders. A noticeable difference between the two breeds is that the Pembroke tail is usually docked, while those of Cardigans are mainly left to grow long and bushy.
Pembroke railway station on Station Road serves the town of Pembroke. The station is on a branch of the West Wales Line. There is also a two-hourly service from Swansea terminating at Pembroke Dock and also services to Cardiff Central.
The nearest passenger airport is Cardiff International Airport which is about 150 kilometres away.
Pembroke's sister cities are:
- Charles, B. G., The Placenames of Pembrokeshire, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1992, ISBN 0-907158-58-7, p 671
- "Pembroke Town Guide". Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- Census data
- "'Third of UK postcodes' have slow broadband speeds". BBC News. 2012-02-23.
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